Bullying

13 Reasons Why … You Should Stay Alive

The Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has definitely caused some recent controversy. Some feel that the show encourages teens to think about suicide as a viable option to deal with their problems while others feel it spotlights the issues of youth suicide, bullying, and sexual assault which plague our society. What’s important is that the show has people talking, especially about the taboo subject of suicide and we’re overdue for this discussion.

There’s a stigma to suicide which is perpetuated by the silence surrounding it. We need to break this silence so those suffering will feel safe reaching out for help.
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General

Secret Documents: Facebook Appears to Put Features, Profit Above Users’ Safety

Facebook, the 13-year-old behemoth with 1.23 billion active users, generates over $8 billion per quarter in revenue -- $3 billion of that is net income (e.g., profit).

But with so many users, Facebook appears to have relegated user safety to a secondary concern. Until earlier this year, Facebook employed only 4,500 people to review content. Which sounds like a lot of people until you realize that those 1.23 billion active users are sharing billions of pieces of content every day, with millions of user complaints about Facebook content filed each and every day.

Does Facebook have a serious user safety problem on its hands? A just-published Guardian review of secret, internal documents suggests its problem is out of control.

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Celebrities

Is Suicide Contagion Real?

With the popularity of the Netflix hit teenage high school show, "13 Reasons Why," there's been debate among mental health care professionals and researchers as to whether an actual "suicide contagion" exists. Would such a contagion effect apply to something such as a fictional TV series?

Is suicide contagion a real thing? If so, is it really something we need to be concerned about as much in this day and age of instant entertainment and information available on the Internet, where people's graphic depictions of self-harm and suicide stories are always just a single click away for any teen to view as much as they'd like?

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Children and Teens

The Psychology of ’13 Reasons Why,’ Suicide & High School Life

After watching the Netflix series, "13 Reasons Why," I can see why it was picked up for a second season.

It's an engaging story with well-drawn characters that are more complex than typical high-school stereotypes. It's a story that deals with a bunch of difficult topics students in high school face -- texting, photo-sharing of a sexual nature, drinking, drugs, bullying, sexual assault, and, yes, suicide.

Some say the series idolizes suicide. Critics claim the series makes suicide look attractive, beautiful, tragic, and that the show contributes to dangerous suicide contagion.

Some say the series isn't that bad and it's a realistic portrayal of the challenges of modern high school life.

So where's the truth? Somewhere in-between.

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Brain and Behavior

Even Facebook Doesn’t Understand Facebook’s Algorithms

After all the hand-wringing that came from the "fake news" spectacle courtesy of Facebook's news feed -- the content you see when you log into Facebook from your phone or laptop -- one thing has become abundantly clear. Even Facebook doesn't understand Facebook.

And that's the problem with relying on an algorithmic artificial intelligence (AI) that has been built (or more accurately, pieced together) over the years by hundreds of different developers and programmers.

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Children and Teens

The Importance of ’13 Reasons Why’ and It’s Reflection of Teen Mental Health

Warning: This article does include spoilers for the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why".

On March 31, 2017 Netflix released a new series titled, “13 Reasons Why”, based off the book by author Jay Asher. This series depicts a young man, Clay Jensen, and his journey to bring justice for his friend Hannah Baker. Hannah, a seventeen-year-old high school junior with nothing but the future before her, took her life on a seemingly calm afternoon. Why is this important? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
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Brain and Behavior

No, Researchers Have Not Discovered the Cause of OCD

If "fake news" is an epidemic, we see it no place more clearly than in the media relations offices of universities that promote their professors' latest research results. Some of the blame falls on the researchers themselves, who have eschewed conservative, careful language in their studies and instead have turned to hyperbole and over-generalization.

The latest example of scientific "fake news" is the supposed discovery of the single cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And we don't have to look any further than the news release published by the University of Würzburg to see how bad the problem is.

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Antidepressant

Mothers’ Depression, Not SSRI Use, Best Explains Researchers’ Results

Back in October, researchers published the findings from a study that suggested that mothers who take a common form of antidepressants (SSRIs like Prozac) while pregnant are at greater risk for producing offspring that will later have speech or language problems.

However, this month, the researchers got some push back in the journal where the original study was published. And in reviewing the results of the study, it appears the researchers overstated the association and import of the relationship they found.

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Bullying

What if Donald Trump Was Only an Algorithm?

What if Donald Trump existed only as an algorithm? Imagine if his entire campaign, presidency, and life all stemmed from a systematic approach to gain an identity other than the algorithm. It would be absurd. The very pattern of all his actions would be governed by the system he subconsciously wishes to overcome. By following his formula, Trump would cement the identity of a machine rather than a human.
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